29th Mar, 2023 12:00

National Motorcycle Museum | Solihull, West Midlands

  Lot 104

1963 Vespa 50S
Formerly Elizabeth Smolen's own personal scooter

Sold for £4,485

(including buyers premium)

Lot details

Registration No: AMA 14B
Frame No: V5SA1T600526
Engine No: V5SA1M 1554
CC: 49
MOT: Exempt

  • Frame stamped with original Italian no. V5SA1T1532
  • Smolens life and work told through this scooter
  • Impressive originality, in good running condition with V5C

The Vespa V50 was first produced in 1963, characterised by the dainty appearance and small engine cover flap and with a weight of just 66KG. The V50S was also introduced in 1963 as a 4 geared upgrade to the previous V50 version. With a single cylinder 2 stroke 49cc that developed 1.5hp, it could travel at a maximum speed of 40kmh.

We present here an extraordinary lot consisting of a most original example of this rare scooter plus an amount of original memorabilia centred around Elizabeth Smolen's life and work as a scooter racer and dealership. The scooter itself, a 1963 model was sold through Augsburg Vespa Germany, factory supplied by Piaggio in German specification. It has a factory fitted German regulation Messerschmidt-type rear light and the additional ID plate stating 1964. It is assumed Smolen imported it through her contacts, as she had already an established dealership at the time. Save for the MPH speedometer, the scooter is in its original paint and has retained its originality all over with no touch-ups as can be seen from the accompanying photographs. The scooter also has the steering lock key and original and rare ‘Ulma Jolly’ removable shopping basket.

The story of Elizabeth Smolen is an astonishing tale of an extraordinary woman. Caged behind the Iron Curtain in 1950s Poland against her will she devised an escape plan involving joining the International motorcycle racing team during which, on a race in Germany, she escaped and lay low for almost a year until she could be extradited to Britain to join her father who had served with the British during WW2. There is much more besides to tell than we can say here, but for the scooter world Smolen's was highly regarded as the winner of the Scooter Queen award for a female racer winning the Isle of Man Scooter Week 3 years in a row. She also ran the Elizabeth Smolen official Vespa dealer for Wirral, Merseyside.

The large history file that accompanies this scooter includes: Smolen dealers paraphernalia, original photographs, news clippings, an original handbook programme from Scooter Week 1969 which details all of the riders etc, original waterslides, key ring and newspaper clippings of Smolen's life and work. This is a major opportunity for a serious collector of vintage Vespas and Vespa history.

For more information, please contact:
Paul Diamond
07768 313001


Auction: National Motorcycle Museum | Solihull, West Midlands, 29th Mar, 2023

Established in 1993, H&H has sold some of the world's most significant motorcars and motorcycles over the past 30 years. Trusted by over 75,000 clients worldwide, we are the longest established auction house of our kind in Europe. 

An auction of classic motorcycles & vintage scooters taking place at the National Motorcycle Museum, Solihull, West Midlands on March 29th. 

Bidding will take place live at the venue, online via our website, by telephone and commission. 

Parking and entry into the auction is free for auction attendees with a catalogue, available at the door. 


Wednesday 29th March 2023, from 9am

To take part in the auction please click 'Register to Bid | Sign In' at the top of the page

View Catalogue



View all lots in this sale

All successful bids must be paid in full by midday the day after the auction at the latest.

You can collect your new pride and joy from our venue until 1pm the day following the sale or our partners are on hand to help arrange safe transportation:


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